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Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside renewed their longstanding promise to move Forward Together by signing a transfer agreement which extends the current 16 academic partnerships in a number of programs to now include information technology programs.
The five new agreements between Gateway's Information Technology Department and UW-Parkside's AACSB-accredited Business Department will enable Gateway graduates to transfer a greater number of credits to UW-Parkside. In many cases, Gateway graduates will enter the university as a junior, thereby establishing a faster pathway to a four-year bachelor's degree.
Gateway and UW-Parkside, along with local educational, industry and government leaders, lauded the new agreements at a signing ceremony March 30 held on Gateway's Racine Campus. "This is a very unique opportunity," said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. "What is really important here is the opportunity this provides to our students, so they can leverage their skills to the next level – and not have to replicate their course work.
UW-Parkside Provost Fred Ebeid
"This agreement provides even more educational – and career – options for students across southeastern Wisconsin."
UW-Parkside officials agreed. "There are times when those of us in the world of education see things through a different lens than perhaps our partners in business, or our partners in public administration," said UW-Parkside Provost Fred Ebeid. "This, I'm proud to say, is not one of those occasions.
"The creation of more opportunities for students to succeed means there will be more opportunities for businesses to succeed and that means more opportunities for our communities to succeed."
Gateway information technology-computer support specialist graduates will have the option of transferring up to 57 credits which could be applied to the following UW-Parkside majors: accounting, MIS, and business management, with concentrations in finance, general business and human resources. The effort will provide more educational – and career – opportunities for Gateway graduates.
RAMAC President Jim Ladwig
Racine Unified School District Superintendent Lolli Haws used the event to highlight eight new career pathways being developed for students to select in their sophomore year. The pathways include job shadowing, apprenticeships, and internships. "Courses that are dual credit," Haws said, "they can take in high school and get credit at Gateway. That will launch them into being able to go to Parkside as well."
The benefit of the new Forward Together IT agreements will be felt throughout the region as students at Gateway and UW-Parkside come mainly from Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.
The Information Technology transfer agreements build on the Forward Together effort, which was officially launched in September 2013 and publicly acknowledges educational partnerships between the two institutions. The initial effort linked business programs from Gateway and UW-Parkside.
Winter 2014 UW-Parkside Chancellor's Award Recipient and Gateway transfer student Bryan Miller signs the "Forward Together IT" poster
In an effort to increase access to higher education and student success in their future careers, the two institutions are strengthening the relationship they have been building in the past several years to align curriculum and create additional seamless transfers from Gateway to UW-Parkside.
Bryan Miller, a Gateway transfer in 2010 who graduated in December 2014 with a major in MIS and received the Chancellor's Award signifying the top graduate in that class, stressed the importance of a transfer credits. "(My advisors) found 10 more credits that transferred from Gateway," Miller said. "That made a real difference."